Fun fair gets that sinking feeling

Andrew Hagger, organiser of the Big Night Out in Long Melford
Andrew Hagger, organiser of the Big Night Out in Long Melford

Soggy ground at Long Melford’s Big Night Out firework display tomorrow night has resulted in one of the fair rides being cancelled.

Organisers of the event say a 27-tonne waltzer ride cannot operate in the rain-soaked field next to Melford Hall after it sank in the mud.

Andrew Hagger, from Project P7, has run the Big Night Out for 31 years. He said: “We had to take the decision on Monday not to have the ride here because it sank in mud up to its axle.

“The field got pretty torn up in July from the farm preservation event when there were loads of tractors and even a Sherman tank on the site. We’ve also had a fair bit of rain recently that hasn’t helped. We had an inch of rain last Saturday.

“We decided to wait until Thursday before getting the fair set up to see if we could dry the field out a bit. They come from Norfolk and I know they are a bit upset about it because they enjoy coming to Long Melford.

“Because of the mud, we also have 10 4x4 Land Rovers and a rescue vehicle to ensure we can get in and out easily.”

Big Night Out has been running for 44 years and Mr Hagger said the fair has been coming to the village for almost as long, although in the past it had been located at different venues.

He is expecting crowds of up to 6,000 people to watch the £12,500 fireworks display which lasts 18 minutes and is set to music, with this year’s theme being Rock Diamonds. More than 50 groups benefit from the £10,000 raised annually.

Gates open at 6pm.